Fledermaus - April 2001
and so well sung
Die Fledermaus remains a masterpiece
among operettas with scenes, music: and style that would not
be out of place in the world of grand opera.
More than this, the enchanting
Viennese waltz rhythms that are the trademark of Johann Strauss
bring a quality of enchantment to the work.
Last week at the Churchill Theatre
Kentish Opera staged a production that was visually stunning,
artistically creative and beautifully sung - even by those fortunate
members of the chorus who were given an opportunity to make a
short solo contribution.
The show ran more than three hours with
two intervals, but at the same time the convoluted plot unfolded
with pace and some scenes were so full of movement and incident
that it was difficult to know where to look next.
Natasha Jouhl generated a great
deal of impish fun as the maid Adele and dominated much of the
action with her vibrant personality and superb singing.
And Kevin Gauntlett delighted the
audience with his exhibition of truly hilarious acting as the
drunken prison warder Frosch.
Further truly amusing interludes were provided
by Graham Stone as a humourless prison governor, Gary Coward
as a notary, and James Edwards playing an eternally romantic
Italian with a passion for singing arias.
Other fine performances came from
Daniel Meades as the unfaithful Von Eisenstein and Adele Mason
as the womaniser's unfortunate wife, while, in a role with limited
opportunities for expressive acting, Susanna Tudor-Thomas displayed
an eloquent singing voice that provided the perfect counterpoint
to the air of boredom and disinterest shown by her character
Even though the part Dr Blind (the Bat
of the title) is surprisingly small in terms of the overall action,
John Bailey excelled as a man seeking revenge.
With the chorus and orchestra also
playing a powerful role in the production, perhaps the ultimate
star was director Sally Langford who introduced so many innovative
aspects to the work that its entertainment value was radically
ROY ATTERBURY - Kentish Times